Creating an intimidating work environment

A hostile work environment may also be created when management acts in a manner designed to make an employee quit in retaliation for some action.For example, if an employee reported safety violations at work, was injured, attempted to join a union, or reported regulatory violations by management, and management's response was to harass and pressure the employee to quit.

creating an intimidating work environment-17

There was no allegation that the coworker used any religious slurs, though he did "[make] negative comments to [plaintiff] about her Lutheran faith," did "criticize[] (and tr[y] to change) [plaintiff's] personal life style," and did "depress[] [plaintiff] a great deal" with what plaintiff saw as "Seventh Day Adventism's `pessimistic doomsday´ outlook." Likewise, a federal district court has held that a pattern of religiously themed comments, which mostly consisted of statements that the target was a sinner and had to repent, and didn't include any religious slurs, could be religious harassment.

30 Social and Political Commentary: Likewise, one court has said that coworkers' use of job titles such as "foreman" and "draftsman" may constitute sexual harassment, 31 and a Kentucky human rights agency has gotten a company to change its "Men Working" signs (at a cost of over $35,000) on the theory that the signs "perpetuat[e] a discriminatory work environment and could be deemed unlawful under the Kentucky Civil Rights Act." 32 Another court has characterized an employee's hanging "pictures of the Ayatollah Khome[i]ni and a burning American flag in Iran in her own cubicle" as "national-origin harassment" of an Iranian employee who saw the pictures.

When an employee claims that a hostile work environment is an adverse employment action, the legal analysis is similar to the burdens of proof described above; however, in order to recover damages the employee will also have to establish all other elements of the claim such as that the employee engaged in protected conduct such as making a report of discrimination or reporting an employer's violation of law and also establish that the employer created the hostile work environment, at least in part, because the employee engaged in the protected activity.

Originally published in the Georgetown Law Journal; reproduced with modifications and additions, and some added and omitted footnotes -- footnote numbers track the original. Political, Artistic, Religious, and Socially Themed Speech May Constitute "Harassment" A. 18 "David Duke for President" posters, after all, might well be quite offensive to many reasonable people based on their race, religion, or national origin, and may create a hostile environment; 19 likewise for confederate insignia. or privileges of employment" -- which would include harassing speech -- based on arrest record and conviction record); N. Correction Law § 752 (generally banning discrimination based on having "previously been convicted of one or more criminal offenses"); New York City Comm'n on Human Rights document (asserting that New York City human rights law bars harassment based on, among other things, "record of conviction or arrest"); City of Boston Code §§ 12-9.2, 12-9.3 (barring discrimination in "terms, conditions, or privileges of employment" based on "ex-offender status," defined as an arrest record, a record of conviction for petty misdemeanors, or a record of conviction for any misdemeanor when the sentence had elapsed over 5 years earlier); State of Wisconsin Dep't of Workforce Development, pamhplet #ERD-7334-P (including "arrest or conviction record" in prohibited bases of harassment, alongside race, sex, and so on); Chippewa Valley Technical College, 1996-1997 Catalog Compliance Statement Cornell University (same); The Office of Equal Opportunity's Fall 1996 Semi-Annual Sexual Harassment Report n.3 (treating status as "ex-offender" as equivalent to race, sex, and so on); Nicolet Area Technical College, Affirmative Action policy 001 (same); Northwest Technical College [Minnesota], Affirmative Action -- NTC Policy 1050 (same). City of Boston Code §§ 12-9.2, 12-9.3 (barring discrimination in "terms, conditions, or privileges of employment" -- which includes harassing speech -- based on "prior psychiatric treatment").

The case was finally settled "for undisclosed monetary terms and other commitments." 34 Click here for more examples.

Similarly, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) characterized anti-veteran postings at Ohio State University as harassment based on Vietnam-era veteran status: OFCCP's onsite review revealed that the University had not maintained a working environment free of harassment, intimidation and coercion based upon covered veteran status for special disabled veterans and veterans of the Vietnam Era. or privileges of employment" -- a phrase that has been interpreted in the Title VII context as covering hostile environment harassment -- based on "marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, family responsibilities, matriculation, disability, or political affiliation"); Cal. 1995) (barring discrimination based on marital status); N.

To establish whether the situation is actionable the "totality of circumstances" must be weighed with an eye to determining "that the harassment affected a term, condition, or privilege of employment in that it was sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the condition of the victim's employment and create an abusive working environment".

In many United States jurisdictions, a hostile work environment is not an independent legal claim.

20 This would be even more true of bigoted or insensitive remarks about minority or female political candidates. §§ 111.31, 111.32 (barring discrimination in "terms, conditions, .

21 Many reasonable people might view strident denunciations of Catholicism, whether political or religious, as creating a hostile environment for devout Catholics, 22 or criticisms of feminism as creating a hostile environment for women.

The first place to look in determining the scope of harassment law, of course, is the legal definition of "harassment." Speech can be punished as workplace harassment if it's based on race, religion, sex, national origin, 1 age, disability (including obesity), 2 military membership or veteran status, 3 or, in some jurisdictions, sexual orientation, marital status, 4 transsexualism or cross-dressing, 5 political affiliation, 6 criminal record, 7 prior psychiatric treatment, 8 occupation, 9 citizenship status, 10 personal appearance, 11 "matriculation," 12 tobacco use outside work, 13 Appalachian origin, 14 receipt of public assistance, 15 or dishonorable discharge from the military 16 Note what the definition does not require.

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